For all the lag that the deciding Test offered in the first three days, both teams showcased a refreshing, conscious attempt to go for a series win. While Mohammad Abbas picked up his maiden five-for in the first innings to put Pakistan in a better space early on, the visitors declaring with just over 300 runs ensured that they had enough time on a turning wicket to force a result in their favour. With just four wickets to nip out in the final session of play, Pakistan were subjected to a stubborn innings from Roston Chase, who scored his third Test ton to drag the game into the final minutes of the day. In the end, with just six balls left to ensure a thrilling draw, West Indies saw themselves collapsing to see their opponents rise to the first ever Test series win on the Caribbean soil. The victory also ensured that the two legends, Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, bid farewell to the game on the most fulfilling note.
Pakistan could not have started the final day better in their bid to pay the best tribute to two of their greatest cricketers. Yasir Shah was their go-to-man and he didn’t disappoint, as had been the case in the Test thus far. It took the legspinner only 13 balls to draw the first blood of the day when he removed opener Kraigg Brathwaite. If there was spin from one end, there had to be Pakistan’s obvious strength from the other. Mohammad Amir didn’t delay his impact by long either as he knocked Shimron Hetmyer’s stumps to pick him for the third time this series.
Pakistan, who have been forever enchanted by pace, knew who their speed-breaker was, and Chase imposed himself soon. First, in a tiny partnership with Shai Hope but Hasan Ali came into play with a lethal yorker to ping him plumb in front of the stumps, thus cutting it short.
Skipper Jason Holder had shown good fight, albeit briefly in the first innings, but was successful in extending it this time around as he strung together a stubborn stand with Chase. During the 58-run stand for the seventh wicket, Chase raised his fourth Test fifty.
Pakistan’s rampage could have taken a renewed flight, probably the last required to cap off a historic series win, but it was not to be as Hasan Ali shelled a simple return chance with the warrior-like Chase on 67. Holder, though, didn’t enjoy similar luck as he found himself at the receiving end of a vicious reverse swinging full toss in a couple of overs time.
As Pakistan kept throwing punches in their efforts to wrap the game up, Chase found a new ally in Devendra Bishoo, as they together batted out almost 15 overs to keep the visitors on a prolonged wait. As if the problems were not enough, Hasan Ali dropped Chase again off his bowling, this time a more difficult chance with the ball coming straight at his face on the follow through.
Chase, who seemed to enjoy the luck of a cat, was finally caught but off a no-ball as Mohammad Abbas overstepped in the 81st over, moments before the mandatory hour. Chase continued with dollops of patience to raise his third Test ton. Alzarri Joseph, who came in at number ten, hung around for over ten overs before handing an outside edge off Hasan Ali to the ‘keeper.
Shannon Gabriel put a brave front while being shielded well by his partner Chase in the critical half an hour. There was a nervy moment when the umpire gave him out for a bat-pad appeal. However, the number 11 was confident of not edging it, as the referral confirmed. And then, in perhaps one of the most anti-climactic ways, Gabriel went for a slog off the final ball of the penultimate over, only to drag it back onto the stumps. It was the most uncalled shot of the day yet the result it yielded was perhaps the most popular of the lot, as the two legends bowed out of the game with Pakistan’s first ever Test series win on West Indian soil.